There is only so much gelato you can produce in a 300 sq ft basement space in Georgetown, and the owners of Dolcezza Gelato weren't going to let the size of their production space limit the capabilities of their growing business.
Robb Duncan and Violeta Edelman have thus moved their operations to a 4,000 sq ft space located behind Union Market at 550 Penn Street N.E. This Gelato Factory is now the headquarters for production of hundreds of seasonal flavors sold at their four storefronts, at farmer's markets, and at grocery stores and restaurants throughout the DC area. Though many flavors are produced exclusively for restaurants, guests will be able to taste these unique flavors (along with Dolcezza's signature flavors) when the tasting room opens in the spring. In the spring, passersby will be able to walk right in to the factory, and see the flavors available for tasting listed on a chalkboard with the time they were produced that morning. You won't be able to find fresher gelato than this!
In addition to the gelato tasting room, the new factory houses a Coffee Lab, serving coffee exclusively from Portland's Stumptown Coffee Roasters. In the Coffee Lab, staff will continually experiment with new ways of brewing coffee.
The main perk of the factory is the ability to taste gelato flavors fresh off the line. There really is nothing quite like it! I love Dolcezza and have been to all four of their stores in Georgetown, Bethesda, Dupont Circle, and Fairfax, and was also the very first person to purchase a Dolcezza Gelato Push Pop at the Penn Quarter Farmers' Market (I delayed my lunch break until the start of the Farmers' Market just for this treat), but I'm not sure how I can be expected to go back to enjoying "regular" gelato when I can try the creamiest most flavorful versions inside the factory. Since the tasting room won't actually be open to the public until the spring, I'll be stopping by the individual storefronts until then, at which point I'll be finding every possible excuse to work my way from Alexandria to N.E. DC. In all honesty though, my trips from Alexandria to N.E. DC would likely include a stop at the Georgetown or Dupont location (possibly both) before arriving at the factory.
Though the tasting room won't open for regular business until the spring, Dolcezza Gelato opened their factory doors to the public for 4 hours on Saturday, December 7th to give DC residents a taste of what they will be able to look forward to come spring. We attended a media preview a few days before the public grand opening, and in addition to sipping on Stumptown Coffee Roasters coffee made with Chemex coffee makers, we were able to taste six different flavors of gelato and sorbets, including tangerine, butter pecan, thai coconut milk, goldrush apple, dark chocolate, and salty caramel. Is it possible for the flavor of an ingredient to be stronger in gelato than in the ingredient itself? The flavors were so pure I felt like I was actually eating cocoa beans and chewy chunks of caramel. My personal favorites were the goldrush apple and butter pecan, though I overheard every single flavor being mentioned as someone's favorite. You really can't go wrong with any of Dolcezza's flavors. After attending the media preview, I went back to the official grand opening on Saturday, where my friend also fell deeply in love with the goldrush apple, and quickly shared her excitement for the Spring opening. Spring can't come fast enough!
In addition to providing guests the opportunity to taste the freshest gelato around, the team at Dolcezza is planning to maximize the use of their 4,000 sq space by making the factory available for rental for special events. For news on the factory's spring opening, make sure to follow Dolcezza Gelato on Facebook and Twitter.